TNT Diner

Ah Badabing, one of few local restaurants with New York-style pizza, will close Saturday

A pepperoni pizza from Ah Badabing in Tacoma.
A pepperoni pizza from Ah Badabing in Tacoma.

Ah Badabing, a restaurant specializing in New York-style pizza, has announced it will close Saturday (July 14).

“I love the people here in Tacoma, and all my patrons,” said owner Brian D’Millo. “I’m going to take some good memories with me.”

D’Millo said the reason for the closure was personal, not financial. His 60-hour work week and lack of flexibility in his schedule was a problem. “I’m so happy it’s finally over,” he said. “I’ve been putting too many hours in. That’s it, I’m ready to go spend time with the children and the family.”

The restaurant opened at 5240 South Tacoma Way in 2014 in a space recognizable by its bright yellow sign announcing, “New York Pizza.” Before that, it operated in a hole-in-the-wall location in Lakewood.

D’Millo’s first restaurant job was in Shelton, a job he got after he became homeless. He lost his home in the economic crash and also lost his job building houses.

That’s the career he’s returning to now that home construction is on the rise regionally. He’s working on a few houses near Tacoma’s Wright Park and is working on other custom home remodels.

Ah Badabing was known for its giant pies, pizza-by-the-slice and some of the area’s finest calzones. The menu expanded with wings, grinders and a monstrous creation called “pizza fries.”

D’Millo said his exit was made easier because a tenant is already lined up for the space. Opening this summer will be The Church Cantina from longtime Tacoma restaurant chef Nicole De La Paz; her husband, Adam Jones; and their business partner, Rusty Fawver. They’ll complete a significant facelift of the dining room before opening.

The restaurant and bar will feature a Cuban-inspired menu. They plan to begin service at 2 p.m. and be open until 2 a.m.

Pizza alert: Here’s some pizza restaurant news. Steven Salamone is opening a pizzeria serving New York-style pizza-by-the-slice this summer in the Stadium District in the former Tully’s location.

Sue Kidd: 253-597-8270, @tntdiner

Ah Badabing

Where: 5240 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma

Info: 253-582-2170 or

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